The 100 – “Hakeldama” Review and Analysis

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Note: if you are coming here from Twitter/Reddit/et al., please keep in mind: this review/analysis is MY interpretation of the episode and speculation about future events. Like Jon Snow, I know nothing, save that I love this show and love picking it apart. If you don’t agree with how I read a scene or a character, please feel free to leave a comment and we’ll have a nice polite chat over a dram of scotch. Now serving: Aberlour 12 Non Chill-Filtered. Thanks for stopping by, y’all, and keep watching this fantastic fucking show.

Last week I gave “Watch The Thrones” a very mixed, contentious review. I felt the Arkadia plot line moved too quickly and took great liberties with character evolution.

This week was different. I don’t know how they made last week up to me, but they somehow kinda did? There are still some problems, but “Hakeldama” had my emotions ping-ponging back and forth in the best way possible

Before I get into the review, I feel I should draw on my literature degree (snooty snoot snoot) and give you a poem that I feel fits this episode perfectly and perhaps it hints at things to come this season, because massacring 300 people is going to spiral way out of control and peace will be nigh impossible to achieve. I don’t care what Lexa says or Clarke hopes, jus drein, jus daun. Blood must have blood.

The Second Coming – by William Butler Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

I’ll try to inject a little humor in this review, as I always do, but man, this was a heavy episode that demands a bit more of a serious, introspective critique. Let’s get into it!

Yes, “Hakeldama” Means Something Really Horrific and We Get Something Really Horrific Because This Is The Show That Serves Up Really Horrific On The Reg

I think it’s important to mention the title of this episode and its origins – “Hakeldama” means “field of blood” in Aramaic and is the place of Judas Iscariot’s death. These writers don’t play, y’all.

We open the episode with Clarke and Lexa, on their way to Arkadia with the body of Queen Nia. Clarke will return a hero! The Ice Queen is dead! Skaikru is avenged! The coalition is alive and well! Maybe Skaikru will throw a parade in their honor and have a little feast to celebrate being the 13th clan! This is going to be great, you guys!

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Or maybe they’ll come upon a field full of 300 dead soldiers and be utterly horrified. Yep, that’s more like it.

Holy crap, guys. We knew this scene was coming, but some of us held out hope that something else had happened, that Pike and Bellamy and Farm Station had not just killed a bunch of people sent to protect them.

Nope. That’s exactly what happened.


The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned.


We never get to see the massacre. And I’m glad we didn’t. I think it’s a genius play here to put the audience in the same position as the majority of people in Arkadia. We only know what we’re told by witnesses (Indra) or through dialog (Pike and Bellamy), but here’s still a question as to how it actually went down.

Let me be clear on my perspective of the massacre: it was the ultimate act of cowardice. Pike et al. killed the Grounders at night while they were sleeping. This explains how ten could kill 300 with no injuries, which Abby was quick to notice. 

We’re also told Bellamy asked to spare Indra’s life, which gives Clarke that spark of hope that Bellamy can be reached, can be reasoned with, and still has compassion. Clarke has no idea what’s in store for her when she finally gets to see him.

No one is really asking questions or thinking aloud about what Pike did out there in that field to eliminate the Grounder “threat,” save for Octavia, who saw the aftermath and was devastated. The people who elected Pike didn’t see those bodies. They know, but they don’t know know. They suffer the same willful ignorance that the Mountain Men did, knowing full well what their leaders were doing, but if it meant survival, they looked the other way and didn’t think too hard. Remember, no one was innocent.

We live in a reality where our leaders ostensibly shield us from the dangers of the world and do unconscionable things under the guise of protecting us, our freedom, our country, our way of life. Torture, CIA black sites, wars fought half a world away, secrets bought and sold with blood. We walk around, sipping our lattes, going about our days, blissful in our own willful ignorance about what it takes to be safe and sleep nice and secure in our beds at night. We know there are unspeakable dealings going on all the time to foment power, gain influence, and maintain control in each nation of the world. This is the structure of reality, and most of us hardly ever think about what it takes to make the world function every day. I’m reminded of this iconic scene from “A Few Good Men”:

Pike believes what Colonel Jessup believes…that he is the soldier who will do whatever it takes, be the “necessary evil,” to protect Arkadia. They want him on that wall, they need him on that wall. Who else will do it if not him?

How far the Arkadians are willing to let Pike go remains to be seen. He’s now interning – INTERNING FOR FUCK’S SAKE – Grounders, including Lincoln and a couple who are gravely ill. If that doesn’t turn your stomach, I don’t know what else will. This country has a ugly history with internment camps and our political environment today has seen crazy talk about just this very thing. I don’t know if the writers meant for the show to reflect current society back at us so accurately, but holy shit, it’s terrifying.

This is truly the darkest timeline.

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Sidenote: what is up with the sick Grounders? They came into Arkadia sick, not injured, and don’t seem to be doing well. Is there a bigger threat that’s being set up here, or are sick Grounders merely a device to be used to show the inhumanity of internment? I think something hinky is going on. Is this sickness Chekhov’s gun?


In this ugliness of massacres and internment, let’s look at a few bright spots:

Octavia stepped up huge this episode. Back is the badass that we love, calling out Bellamy, not keeping her voice down about 300 dead Grounders, escaping from Arkadia to get a message to Indra, taking down a guard, and helping Clarke escape…this is Action Star Octavia, who is so much better than pouty “I have no people” Octavia. When Kane sent her on a mission, Octavia looked thrilled and I think fell a little in love with our beardy sexy Kane in that moment. Welcome to the club, Octavia. Kane is life.

And Miller. Miller is bae, plain and simple. I’m 44 years old and I’m not sure if I’m using the term “bae” correctly, but I’m going with it at this point. He smuggled medicine to lockup to help out a sick Grounder, despite his boyfriend being from Farm Station and likely on Pike’s side. I wonder how that will play out as the season goes along. Miller seems to be a Good Guy, and we’re sorely lacking Good Guys in Arkadia right now.

Bellamy And Clarke – Some Tea, Some Shade, ALL THE FEELS

Octavia sneaks Clarke into Arkadia to find out what’s going on, and who better to talk to than Bellamy to get this all sorted? They can figure out how to fix this! Clarke and Bellamy back together! Yay! Best friends forever, right?!

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Nope.

Oh man, I was not prepared for how this conversation played out. Good god, it was so good, though. Eliza Taylor and Bob Morley kill this scene. The acting this season…just, holy shit, the acting is next level this year.

Let’s acknowledge right now that some of the bombs Bellamy drops are hard truths Clarke needs to hear and other bombs are truths that Bellamy believes in, but aren’t necessarily true about Clarke or their situation. He’s harsh on Clarke but also a bit myopic and entrenched in his own pain.

Here’s the deal. Those of us who were up in arms over Bellamy’s decision to side with Pike and become a Grounder murderer didn’t understand his motivation, aside from a fridged girlfriend who we got all of 2 minutes to get to know. The show simply hasn’t spent enough time with him to give us an insight into his psyche until now.

We have been given the benefit of a lot of exposition about Clarke’s mental and emotional damage throughout this season. She is the main character, after all. We watched her shut down and not handle her PTSD over Mount Weather at all. We see how she deals with Roan and Niylah and see how she lashes out in anger and resentment towards Lexa. She’s broken by what she’s done and we understand why she went away to be alone, but we never get to see what she left in her wake.

And what’s left in her wake is Bellamy, who lights into Clarke about her choices and how he feels. We FINALLY get why he’s heading in this dark direction. Clarke left him to deal with his own PTSD by himself, and he’s resentful as hell. 

Clarke literally rides in on her white black horse at the top of the episode as the conquering hero with the Ice Queen’s body in tow. But Clarke hasn’t been around her people for months, though, has she? She doesn’t know what’s been happening and how all her actions and sacrifices in Polis have been squandered by Pike. Octavia calls Clarke out on this earlier in the episode when Clarke doesn’t believe the turn of events in Arkadia.

“What do you know, Clarke? You haven’t been here.” – Octavia

The Blakes are not sugar-coating anything for Clarke this episode, and they both have deep rifts with Clarke that she isn’t exactly navigating too well. But, again, she simply doesn’t know where she stands with these guys anymore, and she makes assumptions that are incorrect. You can’t just walk back into a shit storm after being gone for months and expect to save the day.

So basically Bellamy is all like:

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They have a frank conversation that that sends Clarke reeling.

Clarke: “Please tell me that going to war is not what you want.”

Bellamy: “We’ve been at war since we landed. At least Pike understands that.”

Clarke: “Pike is the problem. This isn’t who you are.”

Bellamy: “You’re wrong. This is who I’ve always been. And I let you and Octavia and Kane convince me that we could trust these people when they have shown over and over who they are, and I won’t let anyone else die for that mistake.”

Clarke: “Bellamy, I need you and we don’t have much time.”

Bellamy: “You need me?”

Clarke: “Yes, I do. I need the guy that wouldn’t let me pull that lever in Mount Weather by myself.”

Bellamy: “You left me. You left everyone!”

Clarke: “Bellamy…”

Bellamy: “Enough, Clarke, you are not in charge here. And that’s a good thing because people die when you’re in charge. You were willing to let a bomb drop on my sister, then you made a deal with Lexa, who left us in Mount Weather to die and forced us to kill everyone who helped us. People who trusted me!”

Clarke: “I…” (chokes up)

Honestly, Clarke needed to see this side of Bellamy, because up until now, she’s been focused on herself or helping Skaikru from afar, but she hasn’t been deep in the emotional morass of Arkadia. Bellamy, left to his own devices, has drawn his own conclusions about the world they live in and Clarke isn’t there to balance him out, to remind him of the guy he can be. Because Bellamy believes he’s been like this all along.

What if he’s right? What if his moments of altruism and heroism are anachronistic to who he is? Do we believe that? I don’t, but I do believe HE believes that, at least for now. He’s so deep into his own pain and guilt, and giving into his anger, that it’s easier to believe himself to be a monster than just a damaged human being who needs help.

When Clarke apologizes, she reveals that she had faith in Bellamy, that she thought she was leaving Arkadia and their friends in good hands.

Clarke: “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for leaving. But I knew I could because they had you.”

Clarke left a fragmented Bellamy behind, and likely didn’t realize he wasn’t capable of being there for his people because he needed his person, Clarke, to help him heal. She apologizes to Bellamy because she didn’t know this would happen to him when she left. He’s simply not as strong as she is when it comes down to it, and he’ll give in to the darker emotions because they’re easier to slip into in the end.

This may seem like I’m passing judgment on Bellamy, but I really feel he’s not as equipped to handle the burdens of tough emotions and decisions like Clarke. She can shut down, push things deep, to keep from feeling them, and Bellamy seems to have emotions running constantly so close to the surface that he may burst at any moment. They are different people and honestly do balance each other out, but that sort of co-dependency isn’t good for people who eventually need to make their way in the world as single entities.

Clarke’s apology falls on deaf ears and Bellamy does the unthinkable. He handcuffs Clarke to the table so he can take her to Pike. Another betrayal in Clarke’s life…this is becoming a disturbing trend.


The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.


Remember earlier when I mentioned that Octavia is awesome? Well, she awesomely saves the day and helps Clarke escape and they both head back to Lexa. So crisis averted, for now. I’m not sure what Pike would do with Clarke if Bellamy turned her over, but did Bellamy honestly think she’d be safe? Can we put it past Pike to not kill someone like Clarke who is seen by him as a traitor to Skaikru? And perhaps, more importantly, a threat to his leadership? 

Blood Must Not Have Blood…Wait, What?

Say what now? Lexa is going to let the slaughter of 300 of her warriors – with no provocation – go unavenged?

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I’m having a hard time swallowing this pill (see what I did there?). I understand that Lexa is a progressive Commander, and that peace has to start somewhere, but this act of mercy (stupidity?) is going to get Lexa killed. I don’t know if Lexa will actually die, but given prior commitments by Alycia Debnam-Cary to Fear the Walking Dead, it certainly feels like the writers are trying to ease us into accepting her death this season. She talks about her death all the damn time, like hello, buzzkill! Or it’s a mis-direct and she’ll survive. FUCK. The writers are mind-fucking us, I guarantee it. Either way, not responding with force to Skaikru is very dangerous.

It’s hard to tell if this is Lexa making her own decision. The Grounders would have a hard time against Skaikru, given their fortification and superior fire power, and even Indra acknowledges that there would be many deaths on both sides. Note Indra mentions they’d be hard pressed to defeat Skaikru unless they had their own guns. Foreshadowing? Does another clan use guns? I thought all Grounders shunned them. Food for thought.

But back to Lexa. I think she had all day to consider her course of action while Clarke was in Arkadia, but it’s unclear if she had given peace any serious thought until Clarke comes back and pleads for it. Clarke gives Lexa an out, saying retribution is deserved. But she also says that peace needs to start with one person, so why can’t it be Lexa? 

Simple, Clarke. Blood must have blood, and in this case, it is so deserved that I was disappointed in Lexa’s decision to not retaliate. Clarke has certainly had an impact on Lexa, and it’s painfully obvious that Lexa is in deep waters with Clarke, and her affections are going to get her killed. If love is weakness, Lexa keeps getting weaker and weaker when she’s in Clarke’s orbit, and her people will turn on her in a flash. She’s already survived one coup attempt, and is by no means safe politically at all.

When Lexa decides that peace is the way and Indra strongly questions her decision, we see a side of Lexa, a dangerously naive side, that will come back to bite her: her people are her subjects and they will obey her. She’s a dictator in this moment, not a leader, and mistakes her Commander position for true power. No Lexa, true power may rise up and have you at the end of a blade if you go down this road.

I believe we’ll see a new Commander this season, or perhaps two (Heda Clarke anyone?). Ontari will be sitting on the Commander’s throne when all is said and done, covered in Nightblood children’s blood, and that no one will oppose her ascension, with Lexa either dead or on the run. When we were first discussing this possibility on Reddit, I believed that no one would follow a Commander who forced her way onto the throne through spilling blood, but now, with Lexa showing great weakness, Ontari becoming Commander by any means necessary seems way more plausible.

Raven Enters The City of Light

If you are a fan of the show who was completely out on the City of Light story line because of Jaha, join the legions of fans who felt the same way.

But if you are a fan of the show and didn’t immediately push all your chips into the middle of the table after Raven swallowed the City of Light pill, then you simply don’t have a soul. Because CHOO CHOO mother fucker, people are jumping on the CoL hype train now that Raven is on board.

Lindsey Morgan slayed her scenes tonight. SLAYED. At the beginning of the episode, I didn’t want Raven anywhere near the City of Light. This place is going to be bad news for humankind. By the end of the episode, I had come a full 180 degrees and was completely enthralled. Not only did Raven drink the CoLaid (a moniker Reditkru has come up with, those Smarty McSmartersons!), but I’m drinking the CoLaid as well.

Raven is in a lot pain, and she can’t hide it anymore. Let’s run down Raven’s list of injuries:

  • Gets shot by Murphy and slowly loses the use of her legs because the bullet is near her spine
  • Goes under the knife – without anesthesia – to remove the bullet
  • Wakes up to find out her left leg is paralyzed
  • Gets blown up at Mount Weather, which causes her chronic pain in her hip
  • Gets her GOOD leg drilled into for bone marrow by the Mountain Men
  • Gets blown up AGAIN at Mount Weather when the Ice Nation assassin attacks

All in all, not a good string of luck for our beloved Raven. #stophurtingRavenReyes2016

Abby takes her off of work detail, which is a huge slap in the face to Raven. Raven is great at what she does, she’s always picked first, she’s extremely resourceful, and has saved Skaikru more times than we can count. But when she confronts Abby after being benched, Abby has some hard truths to share. Her leg is never going to heal. Now, they have to focus on pain management.

What is Raven supposed to do if she can’t work? Abby tells her, “you can still be useful.”

OUCH.

Seriously, for someone as driven as Raven, “useful” might as well mean “dead.” She doesn’t want to be useful, she wants to be vital. She wants to be in the thick of things, going out on patrol, fixing things around camp, and being a kick ass a mechanic.

“You can still be useful.” That just hurts.

Jaha and A.L.I.E. see her pain and determine that if she’s the first domino to fall and take the City of Light pill, then plenty of other dominos will fall behind her. If people see her pain disappear, then it’s proof that Jaha does bring salvation through the City of Light.

Except that this is Raven, and Raven thinks that Jaha is full of crap. Yes Raven! That’s our girl!

Except that this is Raven, in constant pain and no longer a vital member of … anything.

And when Jaha offers her the pill and says “what do you have to lose?” we all know: pretty much nothing at this point.

The episode closes with Raven, crying and in tremendous pain, giving in and swallowing the pill. She gets up, starts to hobble along as usual, but we see her gait slowly get smoother, and a wave of realization comes across her face…the pain is fading. She bends over to examine her leg. When she looks back up, she’s face-to-face with A.L.I.E.

“Time to get back to work, Raven.” – A.L.I.E.

Holy. Shit. It took a minute and a half  of time and a wordless performance from Lindsey Morgan to get us all on the City of Light hype train because she’s a goddamn national treasure. There’s a reason Raven is a fan favorite, and we have Lindsey to thank for giving us a character we care for so deeply.

The devil in the red dress and six inch heels knows she needs someone to recruit others into the City of Light, but realizes that Jaha comes off as a bit crazy as her sole spokesperson. So, she rightly susses out that Raven’s no nonsense style will serve her better. She essentially preys on Raven and her pain, seeing in her a much better vessel for her message. Make no mistake, A.L.I.E. is a predator and has had 97 years to plan her City of Light. All she needs to do now is fill it with people, and Raven will play a huge part in that.

But Raven is also the one who routinely sees through people’s bullshit and saves the day. Will she see the City of Light for what it is? To be fair, right now, we don’t know exactly what it is and what A.L.I.E.’s end game is, but if you think it’s all unicorns and rainbows, then you haven’t been paying close attention to this show at all.


And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


Miscellany

  • My ship, Slarke (soap + Clarke) is still going strong, but now I’m feeling like she needs a little hot oil treatment for that hair. Can we get some deep conditioning up in here?
  • Murphy and Emori are out on wacky bandit adventures! Yes, I love this.
  • Was Otan acting fully in control of himself when protecting the backpack with A.L.I.E. in it or was someone controlling him just a wee bit?
  • Indra is my everything. You shoot Indra, you bring down the fire of a thousand suns upon you!
  • Notice how Clarke is involved in a lot of confrontations what involve “I’m sorry” and “I need you”? This show never fails to draw parallels between all of its characters and I really love these little call backs to themes of earlier conversations.
  • Abby is becoming the bull shit detector! I have always liked Abby, but she’s had a couple very human failures that make fans sour on her a bit. I think season 3 is her season to shine.
  • Murphy is going to come face-to-face with Titus next episode and I’m tingly just thinking about it.
  • Clarke is going to come face-to-face with Emerson next episode and I’m more than tingly just thinking about it! TEAM EMERSON! Why do we love this rat bastard so much? Will Clarke show the last Mountain Man mercy?
  • Pretty much every episode from here on out is a countdown to Lexa getting shanked by one of her people. Gah.

FINAL VERDICT!

“No Way Out”: 8 out of 10 blood-dimmed tides


There are some The 100 bloggers you should absolutely be reading, and I offer them up for your enjoyment; I have no affiliation with any of them, save for being a fan:

  • Jo Garfein – doing some great intellectual lifting when analyzing the show, and check out her The 100 podcast with AJ Mass, also found on Scifi Mafia at this link.
  • Erin Brown – unfairly beautiful writing. Like seriously, stop being so good.
  • Toni_watches – piss your goddamn pants funny photo recaps.

If you’re a fan of the show, join us on Reddit for deep discussions, wacky shenanigans, Trigedasleng lessons, and our weekly Breadheda-watch. Bread drein, bread daun.

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Two weeks now without Breadheda. Why have you forsaken us?

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54 Responses to The 100 – “Hakeldama” Review and Analysis

  1. Agreed, 8/10. Raven and Murphy make everything better just by appearing on screen.
    I, for one, welcome our new AI overlord. I want an episode dedicated to the history of the “sacred symbol.”

    • Jennifer says:

      I think we’ll get more of a deep dive this next episode on the infinity symbol with Titus and Murphy. I wonder exactly how deep the clans are involved with A.L.I.E. I’m almost scared to find out.

  2. Hi,
    I really like your review/analysis and agree with about 80% of it, but I gotta argue with the Lexa bit. Initially, it had me a bit bitter too, mostly because I personally want to see Pike brought to justice so fucking much, and because I don’t like the savage Grounders POV that shone through in Clarke’s explanation, but here is the thing.
    Lexa doesn’t say she will let it go unpunished. She says ‘blood must not have blood’ but I don’t think she will be playing poker with Bellamy any time soon. What she is doing, is funnily enough, keeping her promise to Clarke, even though that’s really not what’s behind it, and treating Skaikru as her own people. The Ice Nation wronged Skaikru, and blew up the mountain, and she brought the person responsible for it to justice, and was going to bring her body to Skaikru.
    I don’t think Pike, or Bellamy for the matter are going to get by unpunished, they are just going to be punished as individuals, as opposed to the Arkers being punished as a group, and the 12 clans laying waste to Arkadia and everyone in it. Lexa is basically choosing to act as the police as instead of the military, which is still a huge step, but far from her being just weak because of Clarke.
    I do think we will see a new commander in charge, because Lexa’s choice will obviously cause dissent between the clans, but also because I think the grounder’s whole Commander’s spirit belief and nightblood will be closely connected to the ALIE storyline as well and I think the whole belief system is going to fall to pieces.
    Anyway, great piece of writing! It was awesome to read it and i’ll be looking for your review of the next one!

    • Jennifer says:

      I think you may be right about individual retribution. I’m just very curious as to the fallout of this decision. I don’t think there’s any way she remains Commander for the rest of the season, and this is a good setup for a season 4 bad guy (looking at you, Ontari).

      We are all fascinated by how the clans fit into the City of Light and what their belief system is around the infinity symbol that A.L.I.E. uses. We’ll hopefully see more with Murphy next episode because it looks like he’s going to be meeting up with Titus. So excited!

      • I’m really curious to see it too. I do agree that she won’t stay the commander as well, and yes, Ontari is definitely a good candidate for someone to ‘take over’. If you listen to her theme by Tree Adams on SoundCloud, it makes me absolutely sure that she is going to be an important piece on the chessboard and also probably very effed up.
        But I also think this is a spectacular opportunity for the character development of Lexa, since how better evolve her as a character, than take away what she thinks is important to her (leading her people) and make her fight for everything. This sort of makes me hopeful that she won’t actually die, but lose her title at least to a degree (I’m thinking the war of Two Commanders with clans on either side of her and Ontari maybe…but that’s definitely for season 4, if ever).

        And I am really excited about that as well! So far I have really liked Titus, and I think his title ‘Flamekeeper’ is probably tied to more things than just the commander. I think he is probably what’s going to tie the commander’s mythology to ALIE, although that makes me suspect that he might betray Lexa at some point. It’s definitely going to be interesting to see him with Murphy (what an unlikely duo!) and hopefully learning more about what’s going on!

      • Jennifer says:

        So that’s what his title means! Thanks!

        I’m kinda still thinking that Titus is a bit shady. I want to know what he and Lexa’s “agenda” is.

        I wonder if the previous Commander’s spirits are in the CoL…could that be possible, or was the CoL limited to being near ALIE in the mansion? So many mysteries…this show just keeps giving us so much to think about.

    • Nephtalia says:

      I agree with you 100%. ‘Blood must not have blood’ is more in the sense that Arkadia as a whole will not be eliminated for the action of 10 people. But I am pretty sure, Pike will pay for his actions.

      • Fogh says:

        As he should. Just because our modern society shies away from the “eye for an eye” mentality doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be justice for killing people.

  3. Fogh says:

    I’ve come to the conclusion that in many years from now (on the show’s timeline) the deaths of the 300 will be seen as a “good”, yet tragic event.

    Many good things in the real world exists today because bad things happened. Often in our society we don’t react and change our ways until bad stuff happens.

    Let me explain. On one side we have Pike that believes that the only way to have peace and safety for his people is war and killing everyone else. On the other side Lexa and Clarke (Abby and Kane) believes in peace by unity. Both viewpoints are flawed. History have shown us both doesn’t work. I think it’s pretty obvious that war hasn’t but the idea that the coalition will work is also flawed because of the nature of the grounders and their hate for Skaikru. We’ve seen them be against Lexa’s decision and it seems inevitable that one clan decides to wipe out Arkedia, burn the evidence and maybe blame it on another clan. I believe that is more plausible than not.

    The only way I see peace forming is by changing the core philosophy of the grounders: Blood must have Blood. It the same as eye for an eye and it’s a thought process found in our society many centuries ago. The majority of the Skaikru don’t believe that. The stopped floating people when they got to Earth and there was space and oxygen enough for everyone. They believe in the type of laws and society we have today.

    This brings be back to the deaths of the 300. That event along with Clarke’s convincing lead Lexa to be the first grounder (that we know off) to utter the words: Blood must not have Blood and while it will be a tough sell and might not work initially it’s the first step towards peace.

    One can argue that the world we live in today isn’t any more peaceful than back when eye for an eye was law of the land but I think we all like to believe it is. What got us here was that we evolved and for the people on this “new” earth to evolve they need to believe that Blood must not have Blood.

    • Jennifer says:

      I really hope there is a place in this world for “blood must not have blood,” but I do think someone will have to sacrifice greatly for it to happen…or be united against a much bigger threat like a certain someone who wears a red dress.

      You bring up some very good points to ruminate on…I love how this show engenders so much discussion on a much deeper level than tons of other entertainment. It must be a blast to write, but so hard to burrow deep into these themes to figure out the “right” direction to go in.

  4. A.Rob says:

    Going back to what you said about Bellamy not being as strong as Clarke to being able to handle his PTSD in better ways and how he reverts back to viewing himself as a monster…Since you put your literature background to good use, allow me to use my psychology background to good use. The reason he isn’t as equipped and reacts the ways he does stems greatly from his upbringing on the Ark vs. Clarke’s upbringing on the Ark. Clarke was lucky enough to be raised by a well respected family on the Ark with both mother and father being a strong presence in her life giving her a solid parental foundation through her informative years that until her incarceration was some place she felt safe. Because of those connections she has a more grounded response to conflict resolution because of the mental tools she was allowed to develop in that protected environment. Whereas Bellamy was raised in a much less stable environment. And was saddled with some very adult responsibilities at too early of an age for him to get the kind of connection to provide him with the proper tools to cope. He was brought up in a situation that was fraught with stress, constantly having to hide his sister because it would bring death to his only parent figure. So from his formative years on he has been stuck in a cycle of having to do whatever it takes to survive, so his instincts are far more reactionary because he never had a stable or grounded environment to feel safe or protected. Which always made Clarke and Bellamy’s dynamic interesting because they come from such different backgrounds. Meeting someone like Clarke provided Bellamy with something he never really had before in his entire life…hope. So when all that was stripped away once again, it pushed him back to who he always thought he was. Some kid who had to grow up too soon, and shouldered the burden of having to protect and raise his sister, and also feeling the guilt of his mother’s death. So he is feeling as alone and guilt-ridden now as he did the moment Shumway put a gun in his hand that first episode and said shoot the Chancellor to protect your sister, only now its Pike telling him to shoot the grounders to protect your people. Bellamy’s character development is one of the most compelling on the show, anchored by the fact that the actor is doing an amazing job in the role.

    • Jennifer says:

      Wow, I didn’t even think about this background on the Ark…this is fantastic! You’re absolutely spot on with your thoughts. I sometimes tend to overly criticize Bellamy because he’s slipping into S1 habits, but now that you’ve brought his background up to the forefront, I’ll have to give him a wider berth in upcoming episodes. The pacing of 3×04 was also problematic and moved too quickly for me, so that’s coloring my interpretation of him a bit. I have high hopes for Bellamy this season, but he has quite a hole to dig himself out of. Bob Morley is indeed killing it with the role. Everyone has just stepped up their acting (which was already pretty damn good) this year. Everyone needs to be watching this damn show.

      • A.Rob says:

        I couldn’t agree with you more about the pacing in the last episode. The writers relied too much on events that happened off screen that it makes it next to impossible as a viewer to understand perspective particularly that of characters we know so little about to begin with (Pike, Farm Station, Gina). But I think this episode made some headway into correcting some of the narrative mistakes the last episode had. If definitely added some clarity to where Bellamy’s head space is, and at least for me his back story definitely sheds a light on what his go to instincts are. It kills me how quick some fans are to condemn him on a show which with the subtlety of a hammer lets us know no one is innocent, and maybe there are no good guys. Still people have a strong desire for dividing characters into white hats and black hats. This show has a way of twisting that around though…look at Murphy, a murderer who lacked fan empathy in season 1 gets a moment with Jaha and a look into his back story and SHAZAAM! the audience feels empathy for his character and now needs more Murphy in their lives. God knows I can’t wait for Murphy to throw his sass around in Polis. That again from a psychological standpoint makes me curious then how an audience would react differently to Pike if we actually witnessed what Farm Station was put through, because there was probably a moment there we could come to an understanding about his character. The audiences’ ability to empathize and sympathize with a character greatly alters how they view the narrative. Watching how fans react to the show is almost as interesting as the show itself. Grateful to have found your blog, other places I have been people become judge-y and lose themselves in ships and the like….I’m too old for that shit.

      • L. Hollis says:

        This is a reply to A. Rob, since I couldn’t find a way to reply to him.

        That’s probably my biggest issue with this whole Pike/Bellamy thing. Bellamy has always struck me as someone who acts purely on his emotions, and when they are running high he doesn’t act rationally. Pike never truly felt fleshed out because they never showed what happened. If I were the director/writer, I would have either cold opened the show with a timecard and maybe show the aftermath of the massacre; barring that I would have set Hannah’s story as the narration to a flashback to show the audience what they went through. Either one of those could have fit in there if you were willing to take out the narrated “Arrow-esque” exposition at the beginning of the episode.

  5. Ginger says:

    I don’t think Lexa can be usurped so easily. There was a scene this season where Titus tells Lexa “you’re special. ..we are so close to our goal”. It’s hard to say what goal he was referring to, but I suspect it is about more than has been revealed thus far. I think Lexa is more than just heda, but has some sort of connection with CoL that only she has. She is such an interesting character, and I hope she sticks around as long as possible!

    • Jennifer says:

      I wonder what their goal is. What I also wonder is how Lexa or any of the past Commanders have a connection to the CoL if A.L.I.E. was previously contained in her mansion. Do they know she exists, or are they finding artifacts of her (the infinity symbol) through out the world? I’m hoping we get some answers when Titus meets Murphy.

      • A.Rob says:

        Also didn’t Emori mention there being another buyer for the tech she was gathering for ALIE? Surely that line wasn’t a throw away. Maybe Titus is the other interested party that is gathering tech.

      • Jennifer says:

        I think Reddit is conjecturing that Titus is the other buyer…but what if it’s someone else we haven’t met yet? MIND BLOWN!

  6. tvaddict123 says:

    Great review! You’re comments on Reddit are always hilarious and I’m glad I stumbled upon your blog. I 100% agree that Bellamy’s dark turn was saved by that Bellamy/Clarke scene because I was PISSED at last weeks episode.
    I have the crazy theory that Lexa will “die” physically during the mid-season and her conscious will be uploaded into the city of light. Not only it will kick the CoL story-line in high gear but it allow ADC to remain a guest star in S3 possibly S4.

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you! They really did pull us back in and give us a good insight into Bellamy’s pain. That scene was incredible. If your theory is correct, what happens to Lexa should the CoL be destroyed? Because if it’s a way to control or enslave humanity, it will have to be taken care of. Anyone know of someone who is good at blowing stuff up?

      • tvaddict123 says:

        From my perspective, I actually don’t believe the ALIE is the villain here but actually the mediator between all these 12 grounder clans. The theme of the season is “what it does it mean to be human” and a big part of humanity is the pain and suffering caused by war. As of this point, I think that the commanders do have access to the CoL and past commanders reside there after they die. (Both Lexa and Jaha say “death is not the end”). The big threat might be Jaha (or Pike) co-opting the CoL to permanently wipe out the remaining grounders. Yes this theory as a whole is pretty out there but I feel elements might be true. All I know is that the back-half of the season is going to be INSANE.

      • Charissa29 says:

        Well, from Alie’s point of view, she is there to fix things and save humanity. So if she uploads everyone to the city of light there will be no need for fighting or even physical bodies. Everyone will be safe. Bored, but safe. Impotent, but safe. Balls of unrealizable potential, but safe! Let’s hope Raven still likes to make things go boom.

  7. zatyn says:

    Great review, I just saw the reddit page and I just created an account because I need to talk about the 100 with someone I’m dying this show is killing me (now to figure how it works lol) anyway I see that no one is talking about the “may we meet again” between Clarke and Abby, and it’s freaking me out, that’s bad news I mean Octavia also said to her “maybe it’s time we change how we do things” she is Clarke’s mom she’s always trying to fix everything like Clarke, It’s just that she’s not that good, I don’t know but I think Abby is in danger

    • Fogh says:

      I really hope Abby stays safe for two (main) reasons. 1) It will be partly Bellamy’s fault and do we need more rifts between him and the people he cares about? 2) I like for Abby and Kane to find some happiness together being the only “adults” on the show.

      May we meet again is just their way of saying “Cya”.

  8. Regarding Lexa I agree they are so messing with our minds — the obvious choice would’ve been the Blood must have Blood option, but that would also been too predictable, and we know this show wants to do the unpredictable, so why not go with the opposite. I really, REALLY hope they won’t kill off Lexa despite of all the “my death” hints.

  9. Miss L Delba says:

    Awesome review. Spot on and funny. I need to get me a coworker like you in the tech world to make the product roadmaps and marketing meetings more fun.
    In any case, I keep wondering why everyone is assuming that this is a “phase” for Bellamy. I keep thinking that, given Bellamy’s background and history so far (plus these latest developments), it’d make a far more interesting story if we saw him becoming the “dark Yin” to Clarke’s “kumbaya peace and love” Yang. Two people who grew that close and suddenly life finds them in opposite sides could gives us a conflict far more complex and layered than yet another romance.

    • Jennifer says:

      I’ve spent most of this quarter building the marketing plan for my product line, so I know where you’re coming from. It pays the bills and I get to work with some great folks, so yay!

      Regarding Bellamy, this might not be a phase, but just a part of who he is that he will slip in and out of time to time. If the show went as far as to make him the antagonist, and I mean REALLY make him the antagonist, that would be a really bold choice. I don’t think they will, but it would make for some fun TV.

  10. Isabela says:

    I love you interpretation of the Bellamy and Clarke scene and even though I think Bellamy needs to grow up and stop blaming other people for his own actions I could see how hurt he was and that’s a great testament to Bob’s acting and to the writing in that scene.

    But your comments regarding Lexa makes me roll my eyes a bit… Do you people ever talk about anything other than Lexa’s death? LOL But seriously, though, you are doing a huge disservice to this amazing character if you think Lexa is making this decision because of her feelings for Clarke. Clarke is not making Lexa’s weak (quite the opposite). Besides, the fact that Lexa decided not to retaliate immediately doesn’t mean she is not going to demand justice. We will have to wait and see how this is going to play out. After this episode, after seeing Lexa (and Clarke) taking this huge step to challenge the status quo to pursue a better world, I’m more confident than ever that Lexa will survive the season (and possibly the entire show). That being said, I could see Lexa being dethroned at some point or utter chaos making her position as Commander a bit useless (in the sense that there is no order anymore). We also have to remember that Roan is now the King of Azgeda and I think he is going to be an important ally to Lexa.

    re: Titus’s agenda. I’m pretty sure it’s connected to CoL. Lexa knows about the CoL and probably even knows how to get there, which is also why I don’t think killing off Lexa would make sense in terms of narrative. Lexa is key to defeating ALIE and Clarke will learn about that pretty soon.

    • Jennifer says:

      My Lexa bit may be poorly communicated because I left a huge part out – I think she’s probably the strongest character on the show, but I was very disappointed with her decision in the day or two after watching the episode. I do think her feelings for Clarke are playing a role, but she’s taking a much bigger picture into consideration and I didn’t give her credit for that in my first take. It is both extremely gutsy and risky to not retaliate given that “blood must have blood” seems to be in the Grounder’s DNA, but she’s taking a chance that her people can work towards a more difficult goal under her guidance – peace. I just know that this radical change will be met with a ton of doubt and will make her appear weak to her people. Does an appearance of weakness make her weak? No. And I should have communicated that. I think she will find allies in her struggle, Roan being a good prospect, along with Luna, who I hope we get to meet this season.

      I do, however, think that her confidence that her subjects will follow her because she is the Commander is dangerous. She comes across as a dictator in that one moment, a little too trusting in her title and the power it bestows. And we know, since we’ve been told, that she will be killed if she appears weak. So she’s in a very delicate situation right now, and she needs to be more cautious than ever. I do hope, like you, that those who are mostly responsible for the 300 deaths get their comeuppance at her hand. She has proven to be cunning, so when she does get her revenge (or if, rather), she will do it in a way that both makes sense and doesn’t estrange her from Clarke. She has a lot of competing agendas to serve and finding that balance will be crucial.

      • Isabela says:

        Re: That line about the subjects. At first, I was a bit “Lexa, really?” but later I understood that this is Lexa trying to ascertain her command (because, yeah, this is not a democracy and we have to see this from the grounders’ pov) in order for her to do what she knows it’s right for her people. And Titus and Indra (and everybody else) will have to understand that too and Lexa will be ruthless if she needs to. I didn’t see her being confident in that moment, I saw her being nervous because she knows she is following the most difficult path, which is why I cheered when Lexa said blood must not have blood because that decision leads to a story that is by far a lot more interesting and compelling to see than another attack/retaliation/attack, etc. I think in a way Lexa’s journey has been building up to this moment since her introduction in this show and having Clarke by her side (not simply in a romantic way, but how they respect and admire and inspire each other) is her new strength. Besides, I think the subject line was also a clear parallel to show, once again, that Clarke is Lexa’s equal, and not her subject.

      • Jennifer says:

        I really like your commentary and it’s given me a bit more to think about regarding Lexa’s decision and state of mind. I love that Clarke and Lexa are learning from each other…they’re still both so young, so having another person – an equal – who understands the position you’re in is vital.

    • A.Rob says:

      Maybe it isn’t making Lexa “weak” per se but filtering her decision making through Clarke is actually a dangerous gambit and making her more vulnerable because it is setting her up against her people. Keep in mind she is already on thin ice with a lot of the clans, it wasn’t but a few episodes ago that the 12 clans voted no confidence in her ability to lead and her one vote in support was Clarke’s newly acquired skikru vote and that was before skikru attacked the grounders, So now she goes back to them saying hey now Blood must not have blood and thinks that is going to fly with no blowback? Especially when her coalition was tenuous at best even in season 2. That isn’t a democracy, that is a dictatorship. Think about that for a minute, just because she is using her power for peace doesn’t mean she should use her power in terms of absolutes, that is a slippery slope, and implies subjugation which in turn sets up revolts. While everyone can be all smiles and morally indignant about her peaceful decision, as far as holding her position of power it wasn’t the smart or wise move. Now it makes the target on her back larger so it puts her in a weaker position politically to be able to enact her new agenda. I think viewers need to be cautious about putting Lexa on a pedestal or that somehow her decision making is beyond reproach because if there is anything this show has proven it is that not everything is that black and white. There are really no definitive antagonists or protagonists because all characters have crossed into morally ambiguous gray areas in order to protect their people or those they love.

      • Fogh says:

        But ism’t a dictatorship what this society needs right now? That is what history have shown us. Clans fighting clans in an never ending war that doesn’t end until someone resume full control and stops the internal wars. This eventually leads to other forms of government which in the end leads to the society we have today.

        I think that might be the story Jason is telling us. How the people of the new world rose as clans fighting over scarce resources and how they evolved into a better society.

      • Isabela says:

        There is no doubt in my mind that Lexa knows exactly how dangerous her decision is, which is why this story is so compelling. If Indra herself is starting to doubt Lexa, I can only imagine what other people (who are not as close to Lexa as Indra is) will do. We will see if this move is smart or not but I also think Lexa is ready and strong enough to face the consequences. The whole point of this storyline is to show that peace is actually the toughest road to take. Yes, Lexa’s power is tenuous (it has always been) but in 3×04 she defeated Roan and killed her biggest enemy. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we heard people chanting “Heda! Heda!” after the fight. She is liked by her people. I doubt we will see another vote of no confidence simply because it’s been done already (I also think Roan would back Lexa up). I do think, though, Ontari is a huge threat and I think she (and later on, the CoL storyline) is going to spread chaos which could then lead to Lexa having to hide at some point to work behind the curtains. I think the whole base of the grounders society is about to crumble but that’s another discussion.

        Besides, making Lexa vulnerable and less wise the moment she decides to open up to Clarke would perpetuate this idea that love is weakness and I have a feeling the show is trying to rebut that. Yes, this is a brutal show, people do terrible things all the time, but it has always been about sacrifices people make for the greater good (we can even apply that to the MM, who were arguably the worst people on the show) and making Lexa’s undoing be her love for Clarke is simply not the message this show wants to give.

      • Isabela says:

        Another thing is, it’s probably not a coincidence that Jaha (and CoL storyline) arrives in Arkadia the exact same episode Lexa makes this decision. Lexa is definitely connected to ALIE (she is probably a huge weapon against ALIE) and I would say that Lexa being a Commander has everything to do with ALIE. So, in the end, ALIE might save Lexa in the sense that she is a much bigger threat to the sky people and the other clans could be. That’s where the real war is. Wanting peace might be the smart move because it might prevent Lexa of being distracted with another war while ALIE sets her plan in motion.

      • A.Rob says:

        Fogh, if anything history has proven that dictatorships end up in inciting revolutions. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Even if a dictator is well intended or in it for the people, if people do not feel like their voice is heard/represented or feel subjugated, they will fight back. So the will of the people must also be considered. Which is a democratic republic and not an autocracy.

        Isabela: I agree with many of your comments in regards to Lexa’s decisions, though I don’t necessarily think the theme of the show is centered around her or Clarke’s ascension to power through peace. But about humanity and its fragility and frailty. It centers on perspective and moral grays that shade our ideals. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. People try to box this show into this good vs. evil, but its has always shied away from that in the same ways that Battlestar Galatica did which made it clear that humans and the cylons were both good and bad. or in the same vein that Ozymandias actually wasn’t wrong in the Watchman about his views of humanity.

      • Isabela says:

        “I agree with many of your comments in regards to Lexa’s decisions, though I don’t necessarily think the theme of the show is centered around her or Clarke’s ascension to power through peace. ”

        Oh that was not the intention of my comment. I’m just saying that this particular plot point (Lexa deciding blood must not have blood) is, in my opinion, about showing that peace is more difficult to achieve than going to war and that sometimes to be a good leader it is necessary to defy tradition no matter how dangerous that might be.

  11. dbjean@dbjean22 says:

    Thank you for your insights. I am SOOOO smitten with this series that I’m frankly a little worried about myself, and when I read hints that Lexa may be doomed….YIKES! Shhhhh…don’t let the Universe hear it spoken out loud! Maybe that will keep her safe. 😉
    You’re right, Raven’s storyline was riveting and performed masterfully. As heart wrenching as it was, I couldn’t help imagining another version of the scene…Raven’s Transformation Take 2…CLUNK, CLANK, clink, clink…brace breaks away from her leg…ALIE’s voiceover… “Run, Raven, Run!” 😉
    What? Too soon? Okay…sorry. 😦
    Seriously though, I love the show and your special brand of writing. Keep up the good work. Looking forward to your next entry.

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks for your kind words. Look, I want Lexa to live. I think she’s one of the best damn characters on TV and kinda vital to the show right now, IMHO. But reality is reality, and she’s on another show as a main cast member. CW and AMC worked out her schedule for this season, so let’s hope they can do the same in the future.

      I’m so excited to see what they do with Raven this year. She’s such a great character and needs to catch a freakin’ break.

      • dbjean@dbjean22 says:

        Anybody know where Wick is? Raven could use a friend right now, for sure.

      • Jennifer says:

        Wick was written off the show.

      • dbjean@dbjean22 says:

        Oh, I see how it is…Wham! Bam! Thank you, Wick! Too bad, I thought they were good together.

      • Jennifer says:

        Rumors are there were issues with what the actor was tweeting and they just cut him from the show. Inflammatory stuff that wasn’t cool, but he may have been hacked…who knows. I liked Wick too.

  12. morkhan says:

    So, this is a pretty great review. You articulate your points well and your writing is interesting and fun to read. I came here from Twitter and now that I’ve found you, I’m gonna be following your reviews for the rest of the season. Really great stuff. There is only one thing about this review that I object to, and it’s not what you might think. It has nothing to do with your interpretations of the characters or plotlines or which developments you like or dislike.

    It has to do with your use of the term ‘PTSD.’

    I don’t think Clarke or Bellamy have PTSD. I think a lot of people are under the impression that they do, but that’s because PTSD is pretty commonly used as a blanket term for ‘bad things people feel after a traumatic event.’ But that’s not what it is. It’s a medical condition, a very specific mental illness with specific symptoms and specific presentation, caused by what basically amounts to a processing error. A traumatic memory gets ‘stuck’ in the sensory part of the brain, unable to be properly processed and sent to the memory banks, and so the brain partly (and sometimes fully) believes that it is still in that moment, unnecessarily triggering survival mechanisms as a result. It’s not something that happens to everyone– dozens of people can go through the same traumatic event with only a few of them developing the disorder. The reasons are varied and have to do with background, social support, and good old fashioned genetics. But when it does happen, it’s not pretty. It tanks your moods, makes you hyper-reactive, distorts your views of yourself and others, causes cognition and memory problems, makes you vulnerable to sudden flashbacks and extreme responses to fairly innocuous stimuli, disturbs your sleep, and hurts your relationships. It causes actual, physical changes in the shape of your brain, so it’s not something to be taken lightly

    To be fair, Clarke and Bellamy both have their fair share of things to deal with in the wake of Mount Weather, but I don’t think PTSD is one of them. As far as I can tell, there is only one character in the show who currently fits the clinical presentation of PTSD, and that’s Jasper. Everything about him this season fits like a glove– his relationships are in the toilet, he’s irritable, aggressive, reckless, prone to wild mood swings, his worldview is skewed, he can’t sleep at night, he has a profoundly negative reaction to anything that reminds him of Mount Weather (sometimes to the point of violence), and avoids talking about the subject at all costs. It’s especially obvious now that he’s drinking heavily, as PTSD has an EXTREMELY strong association with alcohol abuse, both in media and in real life. Alcohol is a depressant, so people with PTSD use it to calm their hyper-reactive minds for a little while. At this point, Jasper is practically a textbook case for the disorder.

    Now, Clarke seemed like she -might- have it at certain points this season, especially at the beginning– she did suffer from nightmares and sleep disturbances, both possible signs. But she seemed to get over that pretty quickly, and at the moment, she seems like she’s largely gone back to normal old Clarke. It’s entirely possible that I’m wrong, of course, but I don’t think she had PTSD. I think she was just dealing with guilt and horror and the weight of responsibility for her actions; all profound burdens, to be sure, but distinct from a mental disorder. Same with Bellamy; both leaders have heavy burdens to bear, but they are still bearing them. They’re still functioning. They are hurt, but they’re not *sick.*

    Jasper, on the other hand, is pretty clearly sick. He isn’t functioning. He’s alienated all of his friends, he drinks like a 40-year-old lifetime alcoholic, and he’s an emotional wreck; erratic, unstable, self-destructive, and possibly even slightly suicidal. He needs help. That’s why I’m pretty sure he’ll be joining Raven in the City of Light fairly soon.

    I promise I’m not trying to jump down your throat or anything. It’s totally understandable that you used the term the way you did, and it’s possible that I might be wrong about this. I just wanted to bring it up, because when PTSD is used as a blanket term for what everyone goes through after trauma, it gives the impression that the disorder is more common than it is, and that it’s something everyone has to deal with, which has the unfortunate side-effect of diminishing people who actually suffer from it. Those showing symptoms are unfairly compared to those who aren’t, under the assumption that they are dealing with the same problem. That’s kind of what’s happening with Jasper this season; a lot of people aren’t seeing him as sick, or are not seeing his sickness as an acceptable explanation for his behavior, because they assume everyone who went through Mount Weather is just as traumatized as he is. But that is not the case; the other characters are not dealing with the same problems as Jasper. The answer is in the intro; when Bellamy talks about being “broken,” we see flashes of two characters: Raven and Jasper. Other characters have been burdened by what’s happened to them, but Raven and Jasper have been *broken* by it. Raven’s broken body and Jasper’s broken mind are two sides of the same horrific coin.

    Phew! I really didn’t mean to type so much, that kind of got away from me a little bit. Sorry to seem so negative. Like I said, I really did enjoy reading this review and I’m looking forward to the next one.

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks for the feedback! I have to admit, I felt a little weird labeling their trauma as PTSD, and in the future I will refrain from using it if it’s not applicable. I guess I got a little lazy, which isn’t a good excuse.

      • morkhan says:

        Hey, it’s cool. The only reason I know about it is because I spent a lot of time researching it for a psyche class. It’s one of those terms that’s really commonly misused, so it’s easy to think you know what it means.

    • A.Rob says:

      Jasper is definitely the standard textbook definition of PTSD, that diagnosis is dead on. But the thing about the brain and identifying Post traumatic stress disorder isn’t as simple as checking off the strongest identifiers. Which has been a problem with helping those who are suffering from it when their symptoms aren’t as obvious as Jasper’s. Just like any mental illness each brain works differently and processes differently so no 2 brains process trauma the same but just because Bellamy or Clarke aren’t drinking or lashing out in anger doesnt mean they don’t also show signs of PTSD, especially the silent signs that are harder to identify (like showing signs of avoidance or overwhelming guilt/shame) and why we have such an issue in treating PTSD and our military has a disturbingly high suicide rate. Because most people who are suffering aren’t the stereotype or the sufferer with the obvious symptoms that Jasper represents, but the ones who on the surface that seem to be managing it just fine but aren’t, which is why they arent getting the help they need and then its too late. If anything Bellamy’s conversation with Clarke and her reaction to it are strong indicators that they are also suffering from PTSD. Raven on the other hand is suffering from a form of clinical depression that isn’t uncommon among patients who suffer from chronic pain. This conversation can get super about the brain and neural inhibition but that would go wildly off topic

      But this is a great discussion to bring up because mental health issues unfortunately aren’t discussed enough both through our entertainment or even amongst ourselves.

      • morkhan says:

        You’re right in saying that diagnosing is not as easy as pointing to the loudest and most obvious signs. Like I said, it’s possible that Clarke and/or Bellamy have it in some form, but the thing is, in order to diagnose it, there has to be some kind of criteria for presentation. TV is a visual medium. We only know what we see. In this case, I went through the DSM-V, the manual used by the American Psychiatric Association for the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, looked at all the criteria listed for a PTSD diagnosis and compared that to what we’ve seen from the characters on the show. Jasper is the only character who has displayed enough symptoms so far to fulfill every single criterion. Clarke lacks significant Arousal and Reactivity symptoms (meaning she does not currently seem to display the hyper-reactivity associated with PTSD), and while she did display strong avoidant tendencies, she did not seem to have any kind of strong reaction to reminders of her trauma. Bellamy lacks significant symptoms in Arousal and Reactivity, Avoidance, Cognition and Mood, and Intrusion (aka re-experiencing symptoms, partial or full). Bellamy and Clarke had strong emotional responses to each other, but those responses, to me, did not represent an overreactive survival response characteristic of PTSD. They did not react to each other as if they were reliving their trauma at the sight of each other– they reacted as if they were just now dealing with the fallout of it. And both of them fail to fulfill the Functional Significance criterion. I know that not everyone who has the disorder necessarily struggles with this, but it is one of the criteria necessary for a diagnosis. It has to cause some kind of functional impairment, and we just haven’t seen that yet from them.

        Basically, there are eight criteria that you *have* to fulfill to get a PTSD diagnosis according to the DSM-V. Jasper fulfills all eight. Clarke fulfills six. Bellamy fulfills only four. Not fulfilling all the criteria does not necessarily mean they don’t have the disorder, it just means we can’t really diagnose them with it at this current point in time. They could display more symptoms as time goes on. But as of now, for me personally, I just don’t think they have it.

      • A.Rob says:

        PTSD is one of the hardest disorders to diagnose. Particularly because the symptoms don’t necessarily come to the surface immediately and sometimes can take years to manifest. Also because they can stem from different type of traumatic events beyond war, particularly childhood abuse because that is a long standing trauma and its far more difficult to diagnose as the onset of the symptoms come at different stages. Especially because a lot of the symptoms aren’t exclusive to PTSD and could easily fit the diagnostic criteria for borderline personality disorder. The unfortunate side bar to the stringent DSM-V guideline for diagnosis is it often misses patients who do suffer from it which in turn results in a lot of people not getting the treatment that they need. The criteria exists for reason, sure, but in practice it can cause a lot of people who need help to slip through the cracks and often do. You are right that we can’t properly diagnose characters on a tv show because we do not have a direct interaction with them. I for one would like it if more shows shined a light on the nuances of mental illnesses that many people silently suffer. At least we are talking about it through this show.

  13. Best review ever!
    I just wish people to stop fighting and being nasty to the writes. This is my contribution to help stop all the hating that has been going around: http://txt.do/52jkg People need to chill .

    • Jennifer says:

      People do need to chill. The shipping wars going on over on twitter and the abuse heaped on JR and the rest of the writers is abysmal. Thanks for reading my little review!

  14. Leo says:

    I’m not really sure how I feel right now. So many conflicting emotions over this season so far. Part of me hates JR for certain decisions he’s made this season. I’m still not completely over the loss of Finn and now I feel like I’ve lost Bellamy as well. I don’t know if I can forgive him for betraying Clarke. And then there’s this other part of me that loves JR for the genius he is. I guess I can understand the people who are defending Bellamy. His upbringing on the Ark played a big role in shaping who he is and the decisions he’s making now. But on the other hand, does that really justify him participating in the massacre of 300 innocent lives? I’m disappointed in him because I watched him change so much between S1 and 2. He made a turnaround and became a hero to his people. Watching him fall down to Pike’s level is heartbreaking. And most of what he said to Clarke I don’t agree with. She did the best she could. She’s not responsible for Finn’s death. He made his choices and he gave himself up. She knew she couldn’t save him so she did the best she could by him in making his death as quick and painless as possible. And she never wanted to kill the innocent in mt weather. Her hand was forced to save her people. How would they react if she had let her people be killed to save those in mt weather? I’m sick of seeing everyone take out their crap on Clarke. I’ve never been into the CoL story and I still don’t think I’m quite on board with it. I cringed when Raven swallowed. I can’t handle anything more happeneing to her. I am interested though to see whether the CoL turns out to be sinister or a salvation. I know a lot of people think that Lexa is going down this season but I’m still holding out hope that she’s not. She’s such a great leader and I feel like Clarke really balances her out in the same kind of way she balanced out Bellamy. And the thought of someone else coming into power is slightly terrifying. One very interesting point about Pike was brought up. Had I seen some of the backstory and what Farm Station went through, perhaps I would be better able to sympathize with Pike and understand his actions. I just don’t think I’ll get there. To me, he’s the Hitler of the show. His way of thinking is that all grounders are the same so he must eliminate all of them. Isn’t that genocide? To me, nothing will ever justify that way of thinking and especially acting on it. This show is killing me and I love it. It has my head spinning and is consuming my thoughts. The pace of this season has been way too fast and I’m finding it difficult to catch my breath and digest everything. Sorry this post was all over the place. Also, does anyone else think that Finn could have been saved? This one still gets to me. What if Clarke had stabbed him but not deep enough for him to die? And he had pretended to be dead. If the whole burning of the body part wasn’t a thing, I feel like they could’ve had him escape and hide out to return at some point in season 3. Would that have even worked? I really need to let Finn go. This isn’t healthy. It keeps me awake at night.

  15. E+C+L says:

    Just – squee!! Absolutely marve review

  16. Pingback: The 100 – “Bitter Harvest” Review and Analysis | Declare Shenanigans!

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